ALMS titles on the Line at Petit Le Mans
“We are pleased that Michelin has clinched the 2010 ALMS tire manufacturer championships in both of the open classes of ALMS competition,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin Motorsports manager. “Now, the challenge is to help our technical partners clinch their respective championships. In the Prototype classes where it is one Michelin technical partner vs. another; it is our goal, as always, to offer all of our technical partners the tires and technology they need to perform at their best.”
In the top LMP1 prototype battles, Michelin technical partner Audi, winners of the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans will try to wrestle victory on this side of the pond from Michelin technical partner Peugeot, winners of the 2009 Petit Le Mans, the 2010 ALMS season opening Twelve Hours of Sebring and the recent 1000km at Silverstone, the opening event of the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
Meanwhile in the LMP2 class, the ALMS championship battle rages between another pair of Michelin technical partners, the defending ALMS champions from Highcroft HPD Racing and the rapidly emerging Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder.
All three Michelin ALMS full season prototype technical partners have savored victory in 2010, the defending champions Highcroft have three overall victories while the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder owns a pair of overall race wins and a class win at Sebring.
Also tasting victory for the first time in 2010 is the third Michelin technical partner team, the Drayson Racing Lola Judd which claimed its first pole at Mid-Ohio and backed that up with the pole and overall race win at Road America. Each of the three teams also has at least one overall race pole.
Michelin has also clinched the ALMS tire manufacturer championship in the fierce GT category. Michelin and its technical partner teams from Flying Lizard Porsche (4) and Risi Competizione Ferrari (3) have scored seven wins in the eight races to date, but the GT driver, team and manufacturer championship battles are still incredibly tight as the pair of BMW Rahal Letterman Racing cars have combined for one win and 10 podiums to create a three-way championship battle heading into Petit Le Mans.
“The competition at Petit Le Mans will be intense and Michelin is determined to provide our technical partner teams with the right tires for every condition they may experience during the 10 Hour/1000 mile race,” said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader. “Road Atlanta is a very fast, very demanding track and we need to provide both high levels of grip and cornering while delivering the extended wear for which Michelin is known.”
In the new LMP Challenge class, where all entrants compete in identical Chevrolet powered Oreca chassis with single specification Michelin non-proprietary racing tires, the championship battle finds Level 5 Motorsports and Scott Tucker and Green Earth Team Gunnar and Gunnar Jeannette in a virtual deadlock in both the team and driver championships heading into the final race. Both teams have four wins apiece.
“Providing our Michelin non-proprietary tires to the new LMP-C class has proven to be a great success,” said Koenigstein. “The LMP-C teams have found very good performance and exceptional endurance all season long. They are going faster and using fewer tires than expected and that means we have delivered performance and value to that class as well.”